Chapter 4. The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Investor: Kai Petainen

Date of Birth: September 26, 1974

Hometown: Ann Arbor, MI

Personal Web Site: The World Between My Ears (

Employment: Computer lab manager

Passions/Pursuits: National parks, photography, hot saunas

Investment Strategy: Eclectic mix of leading academic quantitative theories

Brokerage Accounts: E*Trade

Key Strategy Metric: The F-Score

Online Haunts:,,

Best Pick: EZCorp, Up 578 percent

Worst Pick: Healthtronics, Down 83 percent

Performance Since February 2003: Average annual return of 17 percent versus 7 percent for the S&P 500.[14]

In investing as with any other discipline, having a good teacher can make all the difference. Indeed, most of the greatest investors on Wall Street studied at the feet of other experts in the business. Warren Buffett of Berkshire Hathaway and Bill Ruane of the Sequoia Fund were understudies of Benjamin Graham, who was a finance professor at New York City's Columbia Business School.

Billionaire investor, Ken Fisher, had the benefit of working with and living under the same roof as father Philip Fisher, a renowned value investor who wrote the classic investment tome Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits in 1958. Today there is a whole generation of top hedge fund managers who were spawned from the ranks of Julian Robertson's highly successful Tiger hedge fund. They learned from the best, and now these hedge funds, commonly referred to as Tiger ...

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